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Safeguarding Military Information


Published 1941


Loose lips sink ships.


Run time 10:21
Producer Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Sponsor U.S. Signal Corps
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Stresses the importance of secrecy on the part of military personnel and workers engaged in defense activities, and shows the results of careless talk. Ship explosion, sabotage, and disastrous events result from thoughtless revelation of information to enemy.

STOCK SHOTS:
excellent spies in action; explosion; ship on fire being sprayed by fire ships; the work of a saboteur; bodies being carried away;
great titles over smoke: "THOUGHTLESSNESS BREEDS SABOTAGE"
soldier on phone with girlfriend trying to explain that he is unavailable without giving away a military secret.
spy listens in on conversation using large, hokey "hidden microphone"
radio operators; U-Boat; submarine captain looking through periscope; firing torpedoes; ship is sunk;
admonitions against discussing military information;
fire; aircraft and ammunition manufacturing;
bowling alley; soldier is approached by man asking for information; he reports this to his commanding officer; the "spy" is taken away by military security;
shop; newspaper office; general store; train wreck; aircraft detector;
strange shot: several ears are layered over the picture; then eyes are shown;


Danger Lurks Surveillance Espionage Listening Eavesdropping Secrecy Secrets Classified Information Death Explosions safety SECRETS CONFIDENTIALITY SECURITY CLASSIFICATION DRAMA ACCIDENTS ESPIONAGE SPIES WORLD WAR II WARTIME MILITARY INFORMATION UNITED STATES ARMY NAVY SHIPS SABOTAGE INTELLIGENCE FOREIGN AGENTS
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Reviews

Reviewer: billbarstad - - June 20, 2010
Subject: Good Propaganda
This is a very nicely made short. However, it reflects WWII paranoia.

From: German Espionage and Sabotage Against the United States in World War II: The German record of accomplishment did not measure up to the effort expended. As far as is known there was no enemy inspired act of sabotage within the United States during the war. On the espionage side, while Germany did from time to time obtain information relating to war production, shipping, and technical advances, it was almost always too late, too inaccurate, or too generalized to be of direct military value. It is possible that in early 1942 Germany did obtain some information that assisted in locating submarine targets, although this has not as yet been finally determined; but on the whole, after Pearl Harbor, German espionage against the United States failed to produce the information required by the High Command. This failure was due to a combination of Allied counter-measures and fatal weaknesses on the part of German intelligence itself.
Reviewer: Rob5D4 - - February 11, 2010
Subject: Preston Sturges Wrote This
Just saying.
Reviewer: ERD - - August 29, 2006
Subject: Well done!
Walter Huston & Eddie Bracken are featured in this effective 1941 film warning Americans to be careful what they say in public. Well written, directed, and acted.
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - - April 13, 2006
Subject: Tragedy troubles the talkative
Safeguarding Military Information is a very good articulation of the "Loose Ships Sink Ships" message that the United States Military sought to promote during World War II in an effort to prevent enemy saboteurs from gleaning sensitive information from civilians and military personnel. The imagery used towards the end of the film is quite effective.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - June 20, 2004
Subject: Pay no attention to the microphone ornament on my jacket..
In this amazing artificact from the "Loose lips sink ships" era of War paranoia (or in this case, 'Thoughtlessness breeds sabotage!' (was Loose Lips Sink Ships" trademarked?) we see a collection of clips of how soldiers casually announce where they're going and what war equipment they're taking with them. In the first incident, the fellow blabs to his goyl on the phone, not noticing (or the bartender) the guy with the rather large mike on his jacket or the headphone in the ear. The guy then relates the message in some woefully obvious code language to the enemy. Relatives are not in the clear either! A mother reading out aloud a letter to a shopkeeper reveals soldiers leaving on a train. Someone overhears this, and proceeds to bomb the train. Train wreckage is then seen, with an image of the woman juxtaposed over it repeating what her son said, and then screaming! (One wonders if she'll blame the shopkeeper). Simply an amazing film, though the National Film Boards' "Keep Your Mouth Shut!" did it even better in 3/4 of the time. Still, this is a MUST SEE on this site!
Reviewer: dynayellow - - September 6, 2003
Subject: Even our bowling alleys aren't safe!
Standard idea that "you never know who's listening" presented with some good acting. One slob is trying to calm down his jealous girlfriend, so he reveals that he's leaving for Hawaii tonight. Boom. Another is a mother who's so proud that her boy is being selected for a special train mission, leaving tonight! Boom!

Not much camp, really, except for the idea that a soldier could be propositioned for info, run all the way back to base to tell his CO, and the law would get to the guy in time.
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